Promoter: “Hey you, do you want to play at our club this Sat?”
You: “Yeah sure why not?”
You wish it was that easy right? In 2017, being an aspiring DJ playing at clubs is harder than ever. There’s a lot of competition. You need to be the entire package – “kwan”. But the game didn’t change, it just got more fierce. Here is a step by step guide on how to get booked at a club in 2017.
You need to put in your 10,000 hours. After 10,000 hours, DJing should be second nature which will let you work on the other steps. The music industry is a zero sum game and you need to have the skills that will impress promoters. In 2017, you cannot just be a ‘jack of all trades’, you need to be a master of all of them. You need to be the best. It’s not enough that you can piece up a quick mix with echo fade transitions anymore (sorry Martin Garrix). Build your arsenal to stop being an one trick pony – have DJ tricks, original production, remixes and FX to mix it up and stand out.
15 grams (Brendan Mosca) went to Mykonos on a trip and would bring an USB when he went to clubs. The headliner DJ was apparently was not feeling it and 15g happened to be around to weigh in. 15 grams then got more Mykonos shows, and eventually a residency at Paradise Club, Mykonos. In 2017, if you want to play at that club you need to know the scene more than anyone else. Know the events, the promoters, the venue staff and most importantly, the music they play. 15g put in the 10,000 hours and prepared way before Mykonos, so when the opportunity came he could literally jump on and play. If you stay ready you don’t need to be ready.
Have a professional press kit or as close to one as possible. Try and get clean, professional photos, music and footage. It’s the major piece to the puzzle that will make you stand out and get the industry’s attention. It shows you are ready for the big stage and gives promoters confidence to book you. Have a loyal following too e.g. Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, Mixcloud followers as well as have a local movement too. Promoters will then know that you can bring a crowd and sell tickets. Remember this is a business, you need to show your value to get the industry’s attention.
Don’t know how to make one? We got you, click here.
It’s undeniable to ignore that the music industry is about ‘who you know’. Your Shot Wildcard 2017 NSW winner DJ Thrills recommends networking as well as making new friends. Be a good mate with promoters and venues, help them out anyway you can. Go to their shows, bring your mates and be a regular. Then walk up to them and have a chat, and if they recognize you and feel your good vibes, give them your ‘mix, press kit and deets’. Assuming you have done the first 3 steps, you can show promoters your DJ career isn’t fuelled by pipe dreams. You are a skilled DJ with a following and identity.
Hard work pays off. Remember, this is a tough industry, and you’re up against more and more people like you. Keep improving in all the steps and keep trying. It’s unlikely you will get booked the first time you ask. You have to put in the patience and hard yards to be successful. Calvin Harris started in a supermarket and Dillon Francis lived in his parents back house for a year. Now that’s all in the past and they’re headlining everywhere.
Still need help getting your first club gig? At SDS, we got you. The SDS Club Ready Course will get you the skills and knowledge to be club ready, as well as a guaranteed club gig!